The TARDIS is materialising on the big screen. Harry Potter director David Yates is developing a movie based on long-running BBC TV show Doctor Who -- but it won't continue the television series.
Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter films, is planning the Who movie -- Whovie? -- with Jane Tranter, the now LA-based BBC bod who previously oversaw the 2005 revival of the show.
The project is still in its early stages, Yates told Variety, and they are "looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right."
He then added, somewhat ominously, "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena." That sets alarm bells tolling like the TARDIS cloister bell.
In directing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and both bits of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Yates has proved capable at bringing much-loved source material to the silver screen without too much moaning from the fans.
At this early stage we're trying to suppress our geek qualms and remember the 60s Who films starring Peter Cushing. They used the show as a basis for bigger, more colourful adventures, and great fun they are too. As long as Yates and co lean more in that direction and avoid the mistakes of the 1996 TV movie -- half-human Doctor, anyone? -- then we'll be okay.
Fortunately, the signs are good. The series is bigger than it's ever been both here and in the US, with the most recent series of both Doctor Who and spin-off Torchwood partially shot (and Torchwood's Miracle Day series even partially funded) by a US network. And current Who supremo -- Whopremo? -- Steven Moffat is riding high on the back of his involvement with Steven Spielberg's Adventures of Tintin.
That means the producers are in a good position to both expect that it'll make some money, and resist attempts to adulterate the source material for the US audience.